Valentine’s Marathon: Love, Marriage, Wedding (2011)

Moving right along with the Valentine’s Marathon! Day 3! We’re taking a look at Love, Wedding, Marriage.  I’m not exactly sure why I felt inclined to watch this last night.  I figured Mandy Moore has  never disappointed me before so why now, right?

Lets check it out! 🙂



Director: Dermot Mulroney

Cast: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, James Brolin, Jane Seymour, Jessica Szohr, Michael Weston

Marriage counsellor Ava (Mandy Moore) just marries a handsome and sweet winery manager Charlie (Kellan Lutz).  During their honeymoon phase, its interrupted by the announcement of Ava’s parents desire of wanting a divorce at the brink of their 30th anniversary due to the reveal of her father, Bradley’s (James Brolin) 25 year ago affair that had just come to light. Having all her beliefs in marriage put in hazard, Ava tries every way possible asking for help from Charlie and her younger sister, Shelby (Jessica Szohr) to help her fix her parents’ relationship.

love wedding marriage

I love Mandy Moore and I love romantic comedies and honestly, if you’ve been around Tranquil Dreams and my movie write-ups/reviews, you’ll realize that I’m a pretty easy crowd to please especially when we’re talking about rom-coms (or any romance for that matter).  Now, Love Wedding Marriage was not really anything great, let alone good.  It was just really blah and meh, whichever word you’d like to describe it as.  I sat through this not laughing or reacting a lot and kind of trying to not doze off.  Its about as predictable as romantic comedies go and yet there isn’t even that special something that will make me want to go see this again because as I’m writing this, I’m struggling to remember much other than Kellan Lutz’s abs.  But if you are going to watch a movie for just a ripped body, then go for What’s Your Number? because at least there’s Chris Evans and that movie was way more fun than this one.

love wedding marriage

So, okay, I can’t just have one paragraph and end this review because I did finish the movie. There was a few redeeming qualities.  Mandy Moore is always a sweetheart to watch on screen, even if her role is a little normal as the marriage counsellor newlywed who doesn’t really bask in her marriage but tries her hardest to make her parents work out again.  The effort is definitely commendable but to what lengths, right? Thats the question I was asking because it was just a little crazy after a while. Another sweetheart to watch was Jessica Szohr.  I like her a lot, ever since I saw her in Gossip Girl as Vanessa.  She’s always a really fun character. As Shelby, she brings a little life to the screen.

love wedding marriage

I mean, its a given how the movie will end but regardless, the parents are played by James Brolin and Jane Seymour. I have nothing against Jane Seymour.  I’ve seen her in Austenland before so its all good. And then I sat there staring at James Brolin struggling to remember his name and where I saw him, until it hit me….my last Shitfest entry for Bad Girl Island. *shakes head* All those bad memories come back.  I choose to move on and not think about this….

love wedding marriage

Finally, we’re at Kellan Lutz. So, I’m not a huge fan of this guy.  Sure, at certain angles, he looks pretty handsome and he has a totally ripped body and trust me, there was a lot of scenes with that.  But, I’m guessing if he didn’t have his blonde hair, he would look a lot better. Still, his ripped body was a redeeming point also.  I’m not gonna lie 😉

Overall, Love Wedding Marriage isn’t one that I’d recommend.  Mandy Moore and Jessica Szohr made me want to watch this but it was pretty bland as a romantic comedy.  I didn’t laugh a lot or feel much of the love or chemistry at all.  I guess I’m just indifferent.

Have you seen Love, Wedding, Marriage? Did you like it? 

Stoker (2013)

Stoker was one of my most anticipated movies of 2013.  However, because it was part of those artsy independent film categories, my suburban theatre didn’t have it.  When it was released, I bought it at full price.  Who would know that I’d wait all the way till now to watch it.

stoker posterDirector: Park Chan Wook

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, Jacki Weaver, Dermot Mulroney

On her 18th birthday, India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) loses her father (Dermot Mulroney) in a car accident.  The day of the funeral, her mysterious and charming uncle, Charlie shows up out of the blue and decides to stay with them to help her and her mother (Nicole Kidman) out.  India tries to figure out why Uncle Charlie appears out of nowhere as she didn’t even know about his existence before her father’s death and slowly she becomes attracted to him.

Unlike a lot of you, I’m not too familiar with Park Chan Wook.  I’ve only ever seen one short film by him called Cut and it was part of the 3 Extremes movie that I reviewed for the Halloween marathon 2012. You can check it out HERE if you’d like.  I only did a brief review as well but Park Chan Wook does have a very cool, mysterious style in kind of a mentally disturbed way. I like it a lot and I promise that I’ll get to Oldboy and Thirst soon. Stoker was my full conversion because it was all sorts of awesome.  I loved how it was filmed.  The shots were nice and the atmosphere matched the mood perfectly.  It was somewhat strange and mysterious but at the same time, it was intriguing.


THE best part of Stoker, hands-down, has to be the cast.  Lets start with Nicole Kidman.  I’m a huge fan of her to start. I’ve been slowing down on watching her films lately but she was pretty good as the widow who is attracted to her dead husband’s brooding brother and also, a mother who really doesn’t know what she’s doing but seems to want to be closer to her daughter but at the same time, in this controlling way but still remains distant.  And then, I start wondering if there’s more.  Either way, its not super clear but it didn’t bother me too much. Let me say, her glares and reactions were quite good.

stoker india

Our main lead is the talented Mia Wasikowska.  She always seems to pick up these peculiar roles.  The first time I saw her was in Alice in Wonderland.  Despite that movie having certain flaws, she was not and I thought she made a good Alice.  Then after that, she played in the very awesome Jane Eyre as the renowned Charlotte Bronte character from the novel, you can check out the review HERE! Suffice to say, that I’m quite impressed with her and to me, when I first saw the poster of this, I was thinking that this was exactly what she would be awesome in.  She definitely did not disappoint me. It was a pretty captivating performance because her character was so quiet and it was all just her analysing her Uncle Charlie.  It had a lot to do with her body language and her glares, that sort of thing.  In general, this is a pretty quiet movie with  not all that much dialogue to begin with.


As much as Mia was great, Matthew Goode stole the show as Uncle Charlie.  This guy was an awesome mix of mysterious, creepy, weird, and very charming.  We never really see what Uncle Charlie wants until the end and its just totally crazy.  The dialogue, the connection with Mia’s character India and equally with Nicole Kidman’s character.  Every single time he was on screen I was totally drawn in.

stoker india charlier

Another thing I really loved about Stoker was the music.  Maybe its because I play the piano, the music itself had a lot of that.  I totally loved that weird piano scene with India.  I’ve mentioned it here but I can see how this movie might not be for everyone.  Its slow and not very wordy.  Its all about just how they react, India’s analysis of Charlie and her mother, and just seeing how India discovers a bit more about herself and her family.

Overall, Stoker shot up as one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2013.  It feels good to have expectations exceeded.  Its a great movie.  Deep, weird, mysterious, suspenseful, and in a way, somewhat disturbing but done so well.  Chan Wook Park is a very awesome director who captures some nice scenes and the cast is amazing.  Stoker is worth a watch just to see Matthew Goode in this awesome role 🙂 I highly recommend it!

Did you see Stoker? Did you like it? If you didn’t, what didn’t you like about it?

The Grey (2011)

Originally, I wasn’t going to watch The Grey just yet.  Yesterday, Fogs over at Fog’s Movie Reviews gave his FMR Awards for the Most Surprising Movie of 2012 Award to this movie, I knew that I had to watch it soon.  If you haven’t been over at his blog, you should check it out HERE! He’s giving out his FMR Awards for the rest of the week for other categories.

the grey

Director: Joe Carnahan (The A-Team)

Cast:  Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson

This is a survival story above everything.  We start off up north in Alaska.  Up north at an oil company where there’s a lot of oil workers, we see Ottway (Liam Neeson) who is the man responsible to hunt down the wolves and animals that could attack the workers there that approach the company perimeters.  As they prepare to leave by plane before a storm hits to head home, they all wake up in the midst of a plane crash.  Ottway looks around and finds six men that have survived.  In the middle of an snowy and frozen land, they also get approached by big wolves.  These six men and Ottway decide to leave and keep walking in hopes of finding help and a way to get home or simply to avoid freezing to death or being attacked by wolves.

I had no expectations for this movie when I started.  All I knew was that it had Liam Neeson, bunch of stranded men attacked by wolves and survival movie.  Of course, that was the general idea of the movie and for some, it would sound crazy to just go see a movie for that, but I really did love every moment of it.  IMDB calls it a Action/Adventure/Drama and its exactly that.  Every moment is extremely gripping and intense. Maybe its the fact that we don’t know what could happen next: when a wolf will rush out to attack or when an accident could happen or just when a bad decision could be made or just the weather could rage.  They are in the middle of nowhere and everything is unpredictable.  This aspect really took me into this movie.  On the other side, we have drama and in circumstances that they are in, they made me believe their stories.  It managed to hold a really good balance between being dramatic and intense.

The only actor I knew in this was Liam Neeson and the past movies I’ve seen of his, excluding Batman trilogy and Love Actually, I disliked the movies.  However, I do like him as an actor most of the time.  The other surprising factor in this movie is that the other 6 men are not familiar to me.  I did a bit of research and found that some of them were in flicks I had seen before however, the role they took here is completely different.  Everyone did a pretty fantastic job and portraying different types of personalities and how they reacted to fear.

There isn’t much to say about this movie without it going too into the spoiler zone.  If you like intense, gripping survival stories, this one offers a great take.  I definitely recommend this!